Patient Support

What Symptoms Does Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Cause?


There is no particular symptom or complaint which is unique to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms may occur at any stage in a person's life. This is true even though the person may have had HCM for some time. It is not usually clear why symptoms appear when they do. 

Quite often people with HCM live with symptoms for some time before recognizing that they have symptoms. This is because HCM may be present for years prior to diagnosis; it does not begin suddenly. As a result, patients grow accustomed to feelings that they might notice immediately if the disease began suddenly. 


Symptoms are listed in no particular order.

Most commonly seen "misdiagnosis" associated with HCM?


HCM is often misdiagnosed as asthma, especially "athletically induced asthma." This is probably because transient shortness of breath is a common symptom of HCM. Another common misdiagnosis is "mitral valve prolapse." This is because a doctor hears a murmur and believes it to be the common condition mitral valve prolapse. Many HCM patients are misdiagnosed as having anxiety attacks, panic attacks or some forms of depression only to find that the underlying cause of the symptoms is HCM.

Stepped Management of Symptoms in HCM with Mark V. Sherrid, MD.


Maron, B.J. and Salberg, L. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: For patients, their families and interested physicians. Blackwell Futura: 1st edition 2001,81 pages; 2nd edition 2006, 113 pages; 3rd edition pending publication 2014

Gersh, B.J., Maron, B.J., Bonow, R.O., Dearani, J.A., Fifer, M.A., Link, M.S., et al. (2011). 2011 ACCF/AHA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Circulation, 58, e212-260.

Maron BJ, McKenna WJ, Danielson GK, Kappenberger LJ, Kuhn HJ, Seidman CE, Shah PM, Spencer WH, Spirito P, ten Cate FJ, Wigle ED. American College of Cardiology/European Society of Cardiology Clinical Expert Consensus Document on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. A report of the American College of Cardiology Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents and the European Society of Cardiology Committee for Practice Guidelines Committee to Develop an Expert Consensus Document on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003;42:1687-1713 and Eur Heart J 2003;24:1965-1991.

HCMA patient survey 2014, 2007

HCMA 6/2021